Why Retainers Are Important After Your Braces Treatment

Most people understand why braces or aligners are important – they provide aesthetic and structural health benefits by moving your teeth into proper alignment. However, not as many people realize that retainers are equally as important for your overall treatment as braces are. Read further to learn what retainers do and why they’re critical to maintaining your beautiful, healthy smile.

What Is A Retainer?

A retainer is an appliance that your orthodontist custom-makes to fit your unique smile after you have finished your braces or Invisalign treatment.

Why Are Retainers Important?

When your braces or Invisalign treatment has finished, your teeth will be straightened and healthy. Unfortunately, they may try to shift back into their old position once the pressure from the braces or aligners has been removed. This is where retainers come in to save the day. Retainers don’t move your teeth, but they do apply just the right about of pressure to keep your teeth in their new position. Without a retainer, you can lose all the hard work and financial investment that you put into your orthodontic treatment!

Are All Retainers The Same?

Retainers generally follow the same basic principle in how they work, but the materials and exact shape of various retainers may differ. Retainers can be made of solid plastic, or they can be made from a combination of wire and plastic. Your orthodontist will determine the right type of retainer for you based on a variety of factors, including whether your jaw will continue to grow after treatment, as well as the amount of time needed for your new tooth alignment to stabilize.

I Lost My Retainer! What Do I Do?

Give your orthodontist a call as soon as possible. He or she will be able to provide you a new retainer at a cost. If some time has passed since you last wore your retainer, your orthodontist may also need to examine you first to make sure your teeth haven’t shifted back out of alignment.

This information is not meant as medical advice. It is provided solely for educational purposes by Excellence in Orthodontics. To learn more about retainers, speak with your family’s orthodontist or with one of the highly skilled orthodontic specialists in our national database.

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